Do You Need a Security App on iPhone?

Apple products have plenty of fans, many of whom are considered loyal to the brand which has been putting out well-loved products since 1976. And when it comes to iPhone, one of the many reasons for that loyalty is Apple’s “walled-garden” approach to its operating system, iOS.

That allows Apple to tout its security credentials for iPhone, as users for the most part can only download apps from the App Store, all of which are pre-checked for viruses and malware. This fact has allowed Apple to claim that Android (the main rival to iOS) has 47 times more malware than iOS. And as such, this allows users of iOS devices to have a lot of confidence in Apple’s default protections. 

But while Apple is rightly lauded for its commitment to the security of its devices, there can still be threats to iPhones and iPads from numerous attack vectors. After all, even Apple’s closed-off eco-system has had vulnerabilities, and no device is fully protected from threats. But above all, there is a sense that many iPhone users believe their devices are 100% secure when they not be. While uncommon, it is still possible to get a virus on your iPhone, normally after the device has been jailbroken, i.e., when Apple’s operating system has been bypassed and third-party, non-vetted apps have been downloaded. (Users jailbreak their phones for several reasons, including to access apps not available in the App Store.)

A risk of overconfidence in Apple’s security

And yet, consumers often fail to realize that there are more security threats than traditional viruses.  Phishing, smishing, Wi-Fi sniffing, and man-in-the-middle attacks are just some of the attacks that any mobile phone is vulnerable to, and that includes iPhone. Indeed, it’s worth remembering that Apple users are specifically targeted by hackers. For example, research by IBM found a significant, well-organized operation with 600+ phishing domains whose goal is to steal iCloud credentials from unsuspecting Apple users and that in fact, Apple IDs are the number one target for credential theft emails.

Other threats include remote hacking, which Apple itself admitted was a threat last year. The company announced that users’ devices could be compromised by remote hackers, and it scrambled to release an update to patch the vulnerability. In addition, there was the well-publicized NSO spyware scandal where Apple users were targeted via iMessage.

The point is that these threats are not virus threats – at least not in the traditional sense. That is why we recommend that if you want your iPhone to have an extra layer of protection, you should take steps to secure your iPhone against virus and non-virus threats. There are two ways of doing this. First, you should make yourself aware of the risks. There is often an overconfidence – not just with iPhone users, but within all of us – that phishing scams, for example, are clumsy and ineffective, and not targeted at someone like me. Some are unsophisticated and clunky, of course, and there are some real ways to spot phishing scams. But other scams can be sophisticated examples of social engineering, and they can be as effective on iPhones as on any other device.

ZoneAlarm offers an extra layer of protection for iPhone

More importantly, you can get greater peace of mind by using ZoneAlarm Mobile Security App on your iPhone. Available to download from the Apple App Store (or Google Play if you are on Android), it’s technology has been called “the best malware protection possible for mobile devices” by Steven Lentz, Director of Information Security at Samsung Research America. The protection offered by the ZoneAlarm app is multi-layered, focusing on all types of cyberthreats.

 So, how can ZoneAlarm Mobile Security provide an extra layer protection for your iPhone or iPad? As we mentioned, Apple has innate robust security for its products. But there are several types of threats that can leave iOS devices vulnerable.

For a start, iOS devices have some anti-phishing capabilities, but this is somewhat limited to known phishing sites, i.e., those recorded on a worldwide security database. ZoneAlarm’s Zero-Day Anti-Phishing protection takes a more proactive approach, constantly monitoring sites and relaying warnings back in real-time, preventing the input of your credentials if the site is deemed malicious.

The ZoneAlarm mobile security app also offers content filtering and DNS security, which can automatically detect and alert you to malicious sites when browsing the web on your iPhone. Remember that iPhone is effective in vetting apps downloaded from the App Store, but it cannot do the same for websites. There are some content filtering options available for Apple devices, but these are usually configured manually.  That’s where options like ZoneAlarm’s Mobile Security App can give you an extra layer of protection for safe browsing.

As mentioned earlier, jailbreaking an iPhone or iPad is a common tactic used to download apps not available on the App Store. An example of an App that someone might want to install is the Fortnite game, which was removed from the Apple App Store due to a legal dispute with the game’s maker, Epic. But Jailbreaking can be carried out remotely by hackers, too, and they can install malware on your Apple device. ZoneAlarm Mobile security can detect jailbreaks and send alerts to warn you of the risks. In addition, it can alert you to any apps on your phone that were not downloaded from the official App Store.

Another cyberthreat often overlooked for iPhone users is the one posed by public Wi-Fi networks. Bars, cafes, hotels, airports, hospitals, and a whole host of places offer you the chance to connect when you are out and about. Without protection, public Wi-Fi can leave your iPhone exposed to a range of cyberthreats, including man-in-the-middle attacks, session hijacking, and packet sniffing. Again, we should stress that iPhones can be vulnerable to Wi-Fi threats, as Forbes reported on the problem last summer. With ZoneAlarm’s Mobile Security App, you are protected from these public Wi-Fi threats through complete Wi-Fi network security.

We should also stress that iPhones can be vulnerable to botnet attacks. Indeed, the high-profile court case between Apple and Epic Games in 2021 led to the disclosure that Apple hid the fact that 128 million devices were hacked back in 2015 with malware known as XCodeGhost, which made the devices (iPhones and iPads) part of a wider botnet. While it is true that this happened over six years ago, and Apple’s security has improved, but so too has the sophistication of botnet attacks. ZoneAlarm Mobile Security has enterprise-grade antibot capabilities that run alongside its virus and malware protection for mobile devices.

Comprehensive security for your iPhone

Apple rightly gets credit for its security credentials. The very nature of its wall-garden approach means iPhones are more secure than Android mobile devices. Viruses are rare on iPhone, unless the user has jailbroken the device and bypassed Apple’s protocols. However, there are many other security threats that can infiltrate an iPhone. If you want robust security for your Apple smartphone, you should download the ZoneAlarm Mobile Security App. It offers multi-layered security for viruses and other cyberthreats, allowing you safe browsing and extra protection of your iPhone.

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